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  #181  
Old 12-27-2011, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by idealscape View Post
We have somewhat of a high turn over rate in terms of laborers. After about a year with us, they will hear of another company hiring and being that they worked for our company, they are trained well and are worth good money to a smaller LCO. Again, another aspect of business where I don't blame the employee or the other company. We do however have several employees that have worked for our company for over 15 years. It takes a lot of team building to get to where we are today. As I said in another thread, always make the employees feel just as important to the business as you, the owner, are. The company is only as strong as the employees.
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I'm gonna go ahead and tell y'all that we start off laborers at the $8/hr range and slowly move them up. Drivers will start out around $12-14/hr, account managers and supervisors average $14-16/hr. These figures are pretty par for the course around here. I have never heard tale of someone paying a laborer $12/hr. Wow.

What I want you to keep in mind is that our guys work 40hrs a week no matter what time of year and average 5-15 (growing season) hours of overtime each week. This is how we keep our guys for so long. Everywhere else they work might pay higher, but they will only work 20-30 hours a week in the winter and be lucky to hit 40 in season. We will work everyone at least 40hrs. We always have something that can be done. There are some times in the growing/planting season that our guys will work upwards of 65-70 hours a week. If we get a deadline for an opening or something like that we will work all night under lights. We take very good care of our employees.
Not trying to pick you apart, but if you treat your employees so well (in your opinion), why do you think you have such a high turnover? Have you thought of changing some of your systems/policies in order to keep turnover lower? Seems like you could be saving a lot of money (not that it's my business) buy keeping employees longer.
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  #182  
Old 12-27-2011, 08:33 AM
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idealscape idealscape is offline
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Originally Posted by 93Chevy View Post
Not trying to pick you apart, but if you treat your employees so well (in your opinion), why do you think you have such a high turnover? Have you thought of changing some of your systems/policies in order to keep turnover lower? Seems like you could be saving a lot of money (not that it's my business) buy keeping employees longer.
I should have known we were gonna get picked apart by discussing financials on here. The only way I know how to answer this question is that we live in an area where large LCO's are a dime a dozen. We are just one of many around here and the guys will leave for a quarter more an hour. Obviously our systems and policies have worked well for us. Our laborers will leave us and we do have a high turnover rate when it comes to them, but the drivers, foreman, account managers and supervisors have all been with us for a long period of time. Those are the employees that keep us going in the right direction. It is not uncommon for a laborer to stay for a season and leave the next around here.

Come work for us for a year and see what I mean!
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  #183  
Old 12-27-2011, 09:22 AM
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I should have known we were gonna get picked apart by discussing financials on here. The only way I know how to answer this question is that we live in an area where large LCO's are a dime a dozen. We are just one of many around here and the guys will leave for a quarter more an hour. Obviously our systems and policies have worked well for us. Our laborers will leave us and we do have a high turnover rate when it comes to them, but the drivers, foreman, account managers and supervisors have all been with us for a long period of time. Those are the employees that keep us going in the right direction. It is not uncommon for a laborer to stay for a season and leave the next around here.

Come work for us for a year and see what I mean!
I guess maybe I was asking more if you would consider changing your systems in order to keep laborers longer or hiring different types of laborers. I mean, whatever works for you is fine...I was just more curious than critical.

But I would like to work for you guys or observe your operation.
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  #184  
Old 12-27-2011, 09:41 AM
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I guess maybe I was asking more if you would consider changing your systems in order to keep laborers longer or hiring different types of laborers. I mean, whatever works for you is fine...I was just more curious than critical.

But I would like to work for you guys or observe your operation.
We have looked at changing some things or bumping up pay, but when your guys will jump ship for only a quarter more an hour, how high do you raise the bar before you start losing money? What we have in place seems to work pretty well for us. I would love to hire some more guys that just finished school and are looking for experience but it seems like they want $100k a year to start. Everyone has gotten so proud of themselves they wont work their way up.

I really need to contact the History Channel and get us set up on a TV show so everyone sees what its like at Ideal. It would probably be a hit....so much drama around here. haha. But some of the projects we work on are really cool and would make great tv.
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  #185  
Old 12-27-2011, 09:44 AM
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Keep the questions coming guys...This really is a neat website where everyone can learn from each other.

I would steer clear of the $ talk though. Everything is different everywhere you go. You cant really compare employee pay and customer pricing. Cost of living is different everywhere.

Marketing is a good topic, growth, equipment and project management are good ones as well. I could flood this thread with pictures, but the discussion is great too.
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  #186  
Old 12-27-2011, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by idealscape View Post
We have looked at changing some things or bumping up pay, but when your guys will jump ship for only a quarter more an hour, how high do you raise the bar before you start losing money? What we have in place seems to work pretty well for us. I would love to hire some more guys that just finished school and are looking for experience but it seems like they want $100k a year to start. Everyone has gotten so proud of themselves they wont work their way up.

I really need to contact the History Channel and get us set up on a TV show so everyone sees what its like at Ideal. It would probably be a hit....so much drama around here. haha. But some of the projects we work on are really cool and would make great tv.
Yeah I understand about a lot of people are too proud to work long term in order to build up their pay/benefits. They want it now...no concept of future rewards.

Do you guys do a lot of night work? Where I work, we do a lot of midnight mulch pumping at shopping centers to avoid the cars. Then we have a another crew take the truck to the HOA complexes during daylight
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  #187  
Old 12-27-2011, 10:11 AM
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idealscape idealscape is offline
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Originally Posted by 93Chevy View Post
Yeah I understand about a lot of people are too proud to work long term in order to build up their pay/benefits. They want it now...no concept of future rewards.

Do you guys do a lot of night work? Where I work, we do a lot of midnight mulch pumping at shopping centers to avoid the cars. Then we have a another crew take the truck to the HOA complexes during daylight
Most of our nighttime work takes place if we have a ribbon cutting or grand opening and have been given a short time frame to complete it. We really try and let our guys go home and enjoy their families at night and on the weekends. The only time we will work through the night for other reasons would be for snow and ice removal or prevention.
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  #188  
Old 12-27-2011, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by idealscape View Post
Let me answer these questions first as promised.
3.)
Actually, the driver is usually doing the overall quality check of the property. Identifying any problems, tip pruning or spraying weeds. We have one person who is the best on the walkbehind handle that and the other works on the string trimmer then those two will blow as the driver handles the field report and talks with the homeowner if they are home. Always have a field report for your clients and make sure to speak to them as much as possible!

Hope this helps, let me know if you need more info.
Have you ever tried to get more production out of the residential crew? I see you guys are big on quality and have a system of audits, but have you ever tried putting the driver on a mower? I remember you saying either a area or account manager visiting a diff site everyday couldn't you let them do the field report and handle customers? Not being critical just wondering if a three man crew could do 15 or more depending on windshield time......
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  #189  
Old 12-27-2011, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by lawnpropm View Post
Have you ever tried to get more production out of the residential crew? I see you guys are big on quality and have a system of audits, but have you ever tried putting the driver on a mower? I remember you saying either a area or account manager visiting a diff site everyday couldn't you let them do the field report and handle customees? Not being critical just wondering if a three man crew could do 15 or more depending on windshield time......
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Really, there is no windshield time. 130 of our residential accounts are in the same gated community. 80% of them have been with us for a long time and absolutely love their foreman...If we took away the personal aspect of it we would drop customers like flies. Account managers will only visit a residential property 1 time a week and will rarely speak with a homeowner. It is the foreman's job to educate the customer on the service they are getting and leave them with a field report after it is complete. The account manager might not see the property for 2-3 days after it was complete. Our clients are trained on our system so it all works flawlessly.

All of our residential properties are close together...if the truck is moving we are losing money. We have a few that are way out there, but their price reflects that and one of our commercial crews can swing in and knock them out quickly.

I can assure you in our 19 years we have tried everything to mainstream our operation...the system we currently use works great for us and we continue to grow year after year.

**with the amount of detail expected by our clients and their ever changing list of "honey do's" we could never fit 15 properties in on a days schedule. We have done it before when all we are doing is blowing off hard surfaces after a heavy rain, or when its simply too hot to mow.
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  #190  
Old 12-27-2011, 12:07 PM
jg244888 jg244888 is offline
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Everything looks amazing. What does a field report entail?
Thanks
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